- The DA plans on making members attending its upcoming AGMs sign disclaimers.
- The rationale is to absolve the party from any responsibility should they contract Covid-19.
- Some have raised concerns that this move only serves to place disadvantaged party members at risk.
The DA will ask its members to sign disclaimers to absolve the party from any responsibility should they contract Covid-19 during its upcoming annual general meetings (AGMs).
The party, in its "AGMs best practice guide", believed to have been sent out to public representatives, which News24 has seen, has included a waiver for those who would not be able to virtually participate in the meetings from home.
The AGMs are a crucial step towards the elective conference set for October this year.
Last week, the party's federal council voted to go ahead with the online conference - a first in the country - following the postponement of both the DA's policy and elective conference due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.
"With full knowledge of the risks involved, I hereby release, waive, discharge the DA, its officers, independent contractors affiliates, employees, representatives, successors and assigns from any and all liabilities, claims, demands, actions and causes of action whatsoever, directly or indirectly arising out of or related to any loss, damage, injury or death, that may be sustained by me related to Covid-19 while participating in any activity while in, on, around the premises or while using the facility may lead to unintentional exposure of hard due to Covid-19," reads the disclaimer notice at the bottom of the manual.
News24 understands the issue of absolving the party from any responsibility with regard to the venues for members, who have no access to the internet from their homes, was briefly raised at last week's FedCo.
Two party leaders also complained that this move meant those who are disadvantaged would be left vulnerable to the pandemic and signing the disclaimer as it was meant they would have no recourse against the party.
Speaking of her own experience after contracting the virus, Ntuli raised concerns over risks the less privileged would be exposed to, warning that they were likely to not afford private hospital care, should they need it.
Ntuli urged members to reject the AGMs.
The DA, in the document compiled by federal chairperson Dr Ivan Meyer, who also leads the steering committee preparing for the conference, had mulled over transporting delegates from their homes to the AGM venues.
Last month, News24 reported that party agents would fall away during this year's elective conference, and would be replaced by presiding officers representing the party.
DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi confirmed the authenticity of the document, but attempts to reach Meyer were unsuccessful.